Golf in Alaska: Golf’s last frontier

What Alaska lacks in a lengthy golf season, it makes up for with midnight sun and majestic scenery. Here’s a look at golf in the largest and northernmost state.


Birch Ridge Golf Course
Birch Ridge Golf Course, a nine-hole layout on the Kenai Peninsula on Alaska’s south-central coast. Photo by David Phipps

When the USGA announced it would hold the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, July 30-Aug. 4, 2022, at Anchorage (Alaska) Golf Course, where Michael Stern, a 16-year GCSAA member, is superintendent, it signaled final execution of the governing body’s goal to hold a championship in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Alaska, the 49th state, would be the last state to host. After all, the Last Frontier is also last on the list of states ordered by number of golf courses. According to the National Golf Foundation, Alaska has just 22 courses. Tiny Delaware checks in at 49th with nearly twice as many — 40 courses.

Alaska is the only state in which all golf courses are open to the public. According to the NGF, only six Alaska courses have 18 or more holes.

Anchorage Alaska Golf Course
Just a regular round at Anchorage Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Anchorage Golf Course

Considering the state’s massive size, it’s a given that Alaska has the fewest golf courses per square mile (656,425) — a mere .00003/square mile. Rhode Island, with 58 courses over 1,545 square miles, leads the U.S. with .03754/square mile.

Alaska is far enough north, its golf season is short — four or five months — but, around the summer solstice, its golfing days can be long. Some courses take advantage of the midnight sun and offer tee times from 5 a.m. to past midnight, no lights or glow-in-the-dark golf balls needed.

Read more about golf in Alaska and the state’s golf course superintendents in these dispatches from GCSAA’s Northwest field staff representative, David Phipps:

Golf in Fairbanks, Alaska
Golf on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula
Golf in Wasilla and Palmer, Alaska

You may also like: Keeping the green at 20 below